Saturday, July 12, 2008

San Francisco Street - Transfer

The following images by Vanguard - San Francisco.

The idea of the “appropriate” amount of skin a man can display has a huge impact on the amount of new forms and shapes that can be invented for men’s fashion. This influence is commonly discussed in women’s clothing (think of revolutionary flapper-garb and the ever changing skirt length) but we can, and do, see the same thing happening in menswear. The seventies and eighties are known for short shorts, bulgingly tight pants, and an abundance of exposed chest hair. Going into the nineties, however, these elements were all sharply removed and we saw the introduction of “relaxed fit” pants and shorts that would rarely run higher than knee height. This modesty provided us with new silhouettes for men but, as the pendulum quickly swings towards less modesty this summer, we should see even more emancipation in possible shapes for men.

The ever-deepening v-neck tee served as a good indicator for an attitude of exposure edging on, but few could have guessed the explosion of short-shorts coming from every side – on the runway, chain stores, vintage – even to the point of magazines denouncing any short (aside from knickers, of course) that are not clear above the knees. Along with shorts, a sea of new sheers and lose tanks – which seem to criticize covering the upper portion of men – have recently come into play. Place the catalyst where you will (global warming, vintage nostalgia) but one thing is sure: this reinvented exposure of the male body will provide a steady stream of new shapes and pieces that today’s man can add to his wardrobe.

This also creates a fantastic environment for menswear designers who want to experiment with new pieces and ideas that reveal more of a man’s body without their designs so quickly and negatively denounced as “flamboyant” as they probably would have been only a few seasons ago. This is going to provide menswear with a fantastic flow of new possibilities.

Fashion agendas aside, the exposure of the male figure could not have come at a better time when we consider larger men’s social issues. In times that may be characterized by mainstream teenage use of steroids and the growing visibility and discussion of male body dysmorphic disorders, will this sudden fashion trend allow also for visibility of how the “true” male figure is proportioned or will it only further feed the insecurities of today’s already vulnerable men?

1 comment:

zana said...

The scene: Taco Bell, 45 mins outside of san francisco. Tony is wearing a DEEP deep cut alexander wang heather gray tank, with an offwhite linen parka.

Woman approaches tony and asks, "is that shirt?"

How will the other 95% of the world feel about the new male skin?